Amaal Akhtar (she/her/hers)

PhD Student

Contact Information


M.Phil., History (Modern India), Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2018
M.Sc, Contemporary India (South Asian Studies), University of Oxford, 2015
M.A., History (Modern India), University of Delhi, 2014
B.A., History, University of Delhi, 2012

I'm a fourth year PhD student working on the social histories of Urdu literary and popular culture in nineteenth and twentieth century north India. I explore intersections of language with caste, class, gender, religion, and nationalism, trace multilingual pasts, and examine the changing meanings of community, sociality, and belonging from the early modern period to postcolonial nationalism. My secondary interests include histories of vernacular printing in north India and Urdu-Hindi/Hindustani film culture in the twentieth century. I'm developing a dissertation project that aims to link Urdu popular culture to the spatial and social mobility of reading, speaking and listening publics, and the socio-economic space of the bazaar/marketplace as a crucial node for language circulation and experimentation.